Close up of golden Thai Fish Cakes on a plate
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4.94 from 29 votes

Thai Fish Cakes

Recipe video above. These taste JUST like the Thai Fish Cakes from your favourite Thai restaurant! They should be firm but bouncy, almost a spongey texture, well seasoned, golden brown and with lovely complex flavours from the red curry paste and other seasonings. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Thai fish cakes
Servings: 12
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 lb / 500g white fish fillets , skinless and pin boned, cut into chunks (Note 1)
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste (Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves , chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (sub soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (40g) rice flour (or cornstarch / corn flour)
  • 6 green beans , finely sliced (optional, Note 3)
  • 4 - 6 tbsp oil (vegetable, canola, sun flower)

To Serve

  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  • Place fish, red curry paste, cilantro/coriander, fish sauce, lime and egg in a food processor. Whizz until the fish is minced and it looks like a paste. (See video)
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir through rice flour and green beans until flour is all incorporated. (Note 4)
  • Measure 1/4 cup of mixture (I use an ice cream scoop - Note 5), form 1cm / 2/5" thick patties.
  • Heat enough oil in skillet over medium high heat to cover the base (4 tbsp or so)
  • Place in oil, cook 2 minutes until deep golden brown, then turn and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. 
  • Repeat with remaining mixture, adding more oil into the skillet if required.
  • Serve with Sweet Chilli Sauce, garnished with cilantro/coriander leaves and lime wedges on the side.

Notes

1. Fish - Most of the most common white fish fillets are great here, also works great with salmon and trout. 
Great for: Ling, Tilapia, Snapper, Barramundi, Silver Dory, John Dory, Basa, Hokki, Perch, Flathead, Monkfish
Avoid:
  • super lean fish (swordfish, tuna)
  • delicate fish (flounder, Dover sole)
  • small whole fish like sardines or mackerel 
Frozen fish - thaw completely, pat dry then use per recipe.
2. Red Curry Paste - Typically for fish cakes, I just use store bought curry paste but you can also use homemade red curry paste but use double the quantity.
My favourite store brand is Maesri which I think tastes the most authentic and also super cheap, $1.25 a can. But any Thai Red Curry Paste will work fine (try to use an Asian brand, they are better!)
3. Beans - The sliced green beans are used in Thai Fish Cakes in Thailand but at restaurants here in Australia, I've seen it substituted with sliced shallots/scallions or omitted.
4. Stirring flour in - It's tempting to just add the rice flour into the food processor but blitzing too long can activate the starch too much which makes the paste gluey and you end up with really tough fish cakes. The length of blitzing time required differs from fish to fish. So I find it's much safer to stir it in at the end.
5. Ice cream scooper or cookie scooper with a lever to scoop the batter out cleanly are perfect for making these. The standard size is 1/4 cup.
6. Storage - Fridge for 3 days, reheat in the microwave. I've never tried freezing but see no reason why it would not freeze well once cooked, you can actually buy frozen fish cakes!
7. Nutrition per fish cake, assuming 12 fish cakes are made and 6 tbsp of oil is used.

Nutrition

Serving: 87g | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.2g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 7.2g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 5.8mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.9mg